Ford, who recently announced their latest F-150 electric pick-up and had US President Joe Biden test drive one, have announced they plan to manufacture electric car batteries. It will be a joint venture with Korea’s SK Innovation to produce approximately 60 GWh annually and will start mid-decade.
This is a smart move by Ford, who are going down the electric driving road at a rapid rate and investing $22 billion (£16 billion/€18 billion) solely into electric vehicles (EVs). By the end of the year, the company will be manufacturing electrified vehicles and supporting technologies at more than 15 powertrain and vehicle assembly plants globally.
Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, said: “This MoU (memorandum of understanding) is just the start. It’s a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future. We will not cede our future to anyone else.”
Kim Jun, SK Innovation CEO and president, said: “We are delighted to be entering into collaboration with Ford, America’s leading and iconic automaker. Ford is one of the most active players in vehicle electrification today.
“We are proud to be opening this new chapter in their long history. Our joint venture with Ford will play a pivotal role in fleshing out the electric vehicle value chain in the United States, a key objective of the current US administration.”
The creation of the joint venture is subject to definitive agreements and all the regulatory approvals. Next-generation batteries and arrays will be used to power several of Ford’s future battery electric vehicles.
Lisa Drake, Ford’s North America COO, said: “Through the joint venture, Ford and SKI will jointly develop and industrialise battery cells at scale that are tailored to deliver optimum performance and value for our Ford and Lincoln customers.
“SKI is an important partner in helping deliver batteries with better range and value for our fully electric vehicles by mid-decade.”
Ford’s global battery electric vehicle (BEV) plan calls for at least 240-gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery cell capacity by 2030. This is roughly 10 plants’ worth of capacity. Approximately 140 GWh will be required in North America, with the balance dedicated to other key regions, including Europe and China.
Jee Dong-seob, head of SK Innovation’s battery business, said: “Global automakers have praised SK Innovations’ EV batteries for their safety, high capacity and long life.
“SK Innovation will be supplying batteries for the fully electric version of Ford’s legendary and best-selling F-150 pickup truck. We are thrilled to be supporting the electrification of a vehicle that represents the very best of American automaking.”